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The Odyssey

Ethereal I is on display now at the Gilman Contemporary

I have had a lengthy absence from my blog so I feel a brief explanation is in order. Back in March my dishwasher sprang a BIG leak and flooded our entire kitchen and the room below it. The water damage resulted in a sudden and dramatic lifestyle change for me and my family. My paint studio and office became our temporary kitchen and living quarters putting a damper on my ability to paint (and blog). Although I did manage a few therapeutic retreats into the studio, all my energies for the last few months have gone into reinventing our kitchen space and living area.

This was our kitchen days after the flood. The big blue machines are dehumidifiers.


I chose this marble slab for the island because it looks like an encaustic painting.

We are loving the new spaces that emerged from the ruins and it blows my mind whenever I walk in and see the transformation. Life is slowly returning to its natural rhythm here now and just in time for summer!

So… let’s catch up on some arty tidbits and creative adventures that have occurred over the last few months…

In February the Arty Girls team and I experimented with gelatin prints – It was great fun to be in such creative company and some interesting bits of art emerged from our day of mess making. The gelatin “printing plates” were made from batches of condensed unflavored gelatin. The consistency is firm but squishy, giggly and fleshy. It was a very satisfying feeling just rubbing my hands over it with acrylic paint. Like the scene from the movie, Amelie, where she plunges her hand into the barrel of dried beans just for the sensation of it.

Colleen G. and Colleen M. making gelatin prints.

Sheets of firm gelatin "inked" up with acrylic paint.

At the beginning of March my dear friend Colleen G. and I escaped to the island of Vashon for a weekend of print making in the studio of Mary Margaret Briggs. Her prints are very graphic and compelling and I highly recommend this workshop. We used botanical clippings from her garden and ran them through a printing press with various colors of ink. The results were surprising and magical. It made me want to set up a press of my own. Stay tuned for a later posting of my prints from this workshop. Mary Margaret is a lovely and interesting woman and a very generous instructor. Visit her site to learn more:

Mary Margaret Briggs - Stems II - 24" x 24"

Mary Margaret Briggs - Artichoke Leaves I & II- 16 x 40

Also in March... my work was accepted into two exhibitions. The first show was at the Hayden Art Center in Lincoln, Nebraska, and the exhibition was titled Metamorphosis: Contemporary Statements in Encaustic. My work was also featured in the 4th Annual Encaustic Invitational at the Conrad Wilde Gallery in Tucson, Arizona. Such an honor and a thrill for me as an artist to be invited to participate in these shows.

Detail from Altered Slumber featured in the Metamorphosis show

Detail from Alchemy featured in the 4th Annual Encaustic Invitational show

In May I co-sponsored a solo show /fundraiser with the Gilman Contemporary . The show was for the Animal Shelter of the Wood River Valley. The work was featured at the Starbucks cafe in Ketchum/Sun Valley, Idaho and proceeds went to benefit the shelter.

This little darling was recently rescued from the shelter by my very own brother and her name is Petey. What a sweetie petey pie!

A few more art-for-a-cause events took place in May. I donated this painting to the Pratt Annual Juried Art Auction in Seattle. This painting found a loving new home and helped raise funds for programs sponsored by the Pratt Fine Art Center.

Evening Tide - Encaustic w/ mixed media - Pratt Auction donation piece.

Now through June I will have work up at the Gilman Contemporary and a painting featured in the Intiman Theater's annual fundraiser.

Afternoon Breeze - Intiman Theater fundraiser donation

Wistful I & II at the Gilman Contemporary

Well..this is a long blog post and I still have many more images to share once my other computer gets set up again. For now I am wishing everyone a blissful, happy summer!


Haley Nagy said…
Wow, the kitchen looks great. It's nice to see what else you've been up to. Can't wait to see more pictures!
Flo said…
Is your work on display in the Seattle area, now? I will be coming through there next week and would like to take a peek. I am an encaustic artist.
Alicia Tormey said…
Thank you all for your comments - I am so happy this remodel "project" is over. I am starving for creative work - got the wax heating up now. Flo - My artwork is on display and available to view at the Pacini Lubel Gallery - and sometimes the SAM gallery in Seattle - I would love to see your work too - send me a link or an email - Cheers
Flo said…
Thanks, Alicia. I first saw your work in Linda Womack's book and watch for your pieces when I view exhibits online. Now I am happy to see that you are blogging again!

I recently posted a few pics on the IEA site. I assume you have access to that? I will try to stop by the Pucini Lubel Gallery. Thanks!